When emotions run high, human maturity drops proportionately! We live in a time when stress is high which makes people more emotionally reactive, so this is a great time to build our emotional maturity, a muscle that serves well in every aspect of life.
The reason maturity drops when emotions rise is that psychological buttons get pushed from our early times of insecurity in childhood. So when something upsets us, it can call to focus in our ego a younger aspect of ourselves, who is actually still reacting to something from that much younger time in our lives. When this happens we can ask ourself, how old do I feel at that moment, and it may help us recall what it is that engendered the rather stronger–than-necessary response to the present circumstance. If no memory arises, at least you can recognize that your response is not as mature as would be helpful. Then you can take a deep breath and pause long enough to re-engage your adult self for a more mature perspective on what is actually going on!
Recognizing that you and others in a circumstance are reacting from your “inner children” can allow you to respond to the fears and anxieties that people are experiencing instead of their challenging behavior. In so doing, you can calm the inner children and begin to call forth adult responses from those who are present.
In almost any emotional situation there will be these two focuses present, the inner children, and the adults—most of whom may be temporarily buried under their childish emotional reactions. Not everyone who has an inner child reaction will speak up, many of them will freeze up instead; their inner child selves are too stressed to handle the emotional charge of the situation. The thing to remember is that almost always, whether people react in a strong or aggressive way or by freezing up and perhaps trying to placate others, the root of the issues are fear. It is instinctual reaction time, and fight or flight are the usual options. The best response to fear is compassion and kindness, but there is also a need for truth and strength.
I believe we are being given an opportunity in our culture at this time to mature so we don’t contribute to an overall sense of disagreement and chaos. Whether it is in our most intimate relationships, at work, or socially and politically, greater maturity is needed. Maturing is something which takes effort and choice. It is easier to react in fight or flight and to blame others for failure to resolve issues. But someone has to be an adult for things to resolve in a favorable way. It makes me remember becoming a mother, and how I had to grow up because someone needed to be an adult, and I was the only one present to do so! What a gift that was to me! 25 years later I am still working on maturing, but without that kick in the pants, I wonder where I would be now.
The world is undergoing a rebirth and there is a great deal of stress and chaos in our personal and collective lives. People are being called to step up to the opportunities to mature; to find the strength and courage to love unconditionally the masses of childish attitudes and behaviors, to forgive the hurtful things in the present and the past, to be compassionate and to speak their truth with love and kindness.
When others are being loudly and boldly immature, it may incline those who disagree to join them in that childish melee! In refusing to join in this behavior though, it doesn’t help to freeze up or avoid the situation because it is frightening to engage. Certainly don’t engage from your child self, but from your most mature self; explore what your choices are and what you feel is the optimal response from your own inner truth, neither too bold nor too passive. Then do that and you will find your right place in service of the greater good.
As you live this way, you will feel the power of your true self grounding into the world, and the pleasure of growing into your maturity. You will begin to trust yourself, and every time a great challenge presents, you will learn to be stronger and even more mature. These challenging times are not only necessary for the world to be reborn, but for us as individuals to mature, moment by moment through the small acts and choices of living.
You will find your increased maturity muscles to be a welcome strength when it comes to family matters. Family brings out our least mature aspects of self. What a gift!